California People and Events News - California Case Law
California Case Law - The FindLaw California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal Opinion Summaries Blog

Recently in People and Events Category

2016: the year Californians declared their independence from each other.

What in the heck am I talking about? There's a proposition, apparently headed for the ballot in 2016, that would do just that: Split the state into six new states -- Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California, and South California. It's the scheme of venture capitalist Tim Draper, who has sunk $1.3 million into getting the necessary signatures. But even if the measure passes (59 percent of polled voters are against the idea), the state and federal legislatures would have to sign off.

In other words, it's never going to happen. But should it?

There are a lot of new faces on the appeals court bench.

We've already noted that Gov. Brown will have two vacancies to fill on the California Supreme Court alone. Late last month, he also addressed a number of vacancies on the state's appeals bench, with six nominees.

All six are expected to be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission is headed by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The two other votes belong to Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and a senior presiding justice of the appellate court for which the candidate has been nominated, reports the Los Angeles Times.

It's bad enough trying to pass the bar in this dear state. With a three-day exam, no reciprocity with anyone, and the exorbitant fees, plus the cost of bar review class, joining the California State bar is no picnic. Part and parcel of course is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), which to be fair, is pretty much required everywhere, but it's still one more thing to add to the list.

But don't worry, current and future law students: things will get worse. The current word from the State Bar is that a few teaks to "training requirements" for incoming lawyers are on the way, ones that will make things more difficult for law schools, law students, and young cash-strapped lawyers looking to tap into the Golden State's job market.

The dust is still settling after Hobby Lobby, in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of exempting closely held corporations from the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, but Californians may not feel the aftershock.

Why? California has laws in place that require employers to include birth control in their prescription drug coverage. But these laws don't cover the same legal ground as the healthcare mandate.

So how will Hobby Lobby affect Californians?

Earlier this year, Justice Joyce Kennard announced that she would retire from the California Supreme Court. When she did, we took a look at the court's possible ideological shift, as well as other potential retirees. It's no surprise to us, then, that another one of the justices has decided to step aside: Justice Marvin Baxter.

And this month, a landmark ruling in a challenge to teacher tenure laws sent shockwaves through organized labor and teachers' unions. It's also wreaking havoc with pending state legislation.

Here, now are your updates.

Want to spend more time practicing, and less time advertising? Leave the marketing to the experts.

In an election widely expected to have an "embarrassingly low" turnout, the news isn't all yawn.

We've covered record spending and a District Attorney candidate that has been recently arrested multiple times for alcohol-related offenses (not to mention that time he dislocated a man's hip with his shoe). But this election isn't all fun and games -- there are actual issues to decide.

Just kidding. Now that state-wide citizens' initiatives have moved to the fall, the state's "top two" primaries are an "incumbent + [most popular opponent from other party]" snoozefest, otherwise littered with local dog catcher races.

Still, it's your civic duty, right? Here are a few notes (and notables) on the ballot:

On Tuesday, we talked about a campaign spending record and a gang-related slate in two very different judicial races. Today? How about a candidate for the San Joaquin District Attorney's seat who was recently arrested twice in 24 hours, both in alcohol-related incidents.

The prosecutor turned defense attorney has a lot of experience to fall back on if elected: not only is he a long-time attorney, but he has recent arrests for hit-and-run, DUI, beating a man with a shoe (dislodging the man's hip in the process), and two more arrests over the weekend: one after he was reported to be driving a rented U-Haul while drunk (he was apprehended at home and sent to the drunk tank) and a day later, for suspicion of misdemeanor assault of a female at his home, reports Voactiv.

Ladies and gentlemen: Gary Hickey 2014.

With one week left until the primaries, the race for Superior Court judgeships is getting expensive, and heated. In one race, a candidate is on the verge of setting a spending record. Despite the hundreds of thousands expended, however, the race is expected to be close.

Meanwhile, a prosecutor, a city attorney, and a defense attorney all enter a race for a judicial seat. What do they all have in common? They've all labeled themselves "gang" attorneys, a designation that all three argue is a bit of a stretch.

6:00 p.m.

In twelve hours, you'll know. Until then, you wait.

But no big deal, right? It's only a test ... a big, expensive, three-day-long nightmare of a test with a just-over-half passage rate. Like we said, no big deal.

Here's what you need to know, once the results go live tonight on the California Bar's website.

Last month, we mentioned on our Technologist blog that a great debate was erupting in California over a proposed smartphone "kill switch" bill, one that would mandate that manufacturers include an on-by-default security feature that remotely disables and wipes stolen cell phones. Manufacturers and carriers were not happy, to say the least, and proposed an alternative -- an opt-in model.

The bill quickly died, making this entire debate much ado about nothing, until a tweak to the bill satisfied a couple of Silicon Valley tech firms and the resurrected legislation passed the state Senate, with an Assembly debate guaranteed, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

A "kill switch" seems like an obvious feature to include, so what is the debate all about?